O'Reilly Still Denies Harassment Allegations After Fox News Ouster

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But despite rising ratings, dozens of companies yanked their advertising from his show. It could also have alienated employees.

O'Reilly had not directly denied the allegations, saying he was "vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity".

O'Reilly on Wednesday blamed his exit on "unfounded claims", adding the circumstances around his departure are "tremendously disheartening".

O'Reilly said in an April 1 statement that he had been unfairly targeted because of his public prominence.

But Fox was mostly silent. "That's bigger than O'Reilly", he said.

Since then, more than 50 advertisers had abandoned his show, and women's rights groups had called for his ouster. Rupert Murdoch has a long association with O'Reilly, who joined Fox News when it launched as an upstart competitor to CNN in 1996.

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The scandal, which was initially reported by The New York Times, had motivated about 50 companies - including big names such as Mercedes-Benz, Hundai and BMW - to withdraw their advertising from "The O'Reilly Factor", the host's evening program, as reported in EFE. Eastern time, followed by "Hannity". In a statement from O'Reilly he expressed his gratitude to the fans of his show among other things.

"Fox News is a strong brand and the only game in town for millions of loyalists", Peyronnin said.

After backlash on social media and from celebrities, he blamed "far left loons" and "smear merchants" for misunderstanding him.

"Look how quickly Tucker Carlson became a star on Fox", Shapiro said. "I think they were more of a power standpoint to put me in my place".

He and the network ultimately paid $13 million to settle with five women over the course of several years, according to an investigation by The New York Times published earlier this month. But he remained busy outside his Fox News studio.

Bill O'Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. NPR's David Folkenflik reports that Walsh went through Fox News' formal complaint process, alleging O'Reilly made unwelcome advances during what she believed to be a business dinner. 21st Century Fox issued a statement Wednesday, April 19, 2017, . The controversy at Fox News led to speculation that it could threaten British approval of the company's proposed $22.9 billion purchase of British pay-TV provider Sky. He was the top-rated host in cable news, delivering defiant commentary every weeknight with a message that celebrated patriotism and expressed scorn for political correctness.

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O'Reilly lost his job on the same day he was photographed in Rome shaking the hand of Pope Francis.

O'Reilly, who was with the network for 20 years, said he was proud of his time at Fox.

But O'Reilly's program showed that a single compelling host with a consistent approach could draw a loyal and large audience.

O'Reilly, 67, had ruled the "no spin zone" on television with a quick smile and an even quicker temper.

Some of O'Reilly's critics were happy with the news.

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